“Still, the dungeon is usually not very busy during this time of the year. It is usually the worst during winter.”
The river that ran from the lake flowed next to the health resort and connected with another river from the opposing mountain. Along with the crops, there was a beautiful field of red and purple.
“Lavender and sage. Both are fragrant herbs and are famous here. We came at a good time.”
They were probably not lavender and sage. Maki and Chiharu had an automatic translation ability that changed words into the closest match in Japanese. After all, while the wild lavender that Paulo showed them on the side of the road was purple, it was taller than Chiharu. And the large flowers were shaped like thistles and were bunched up like gladiolus. Chiharu reached up to pluck one. The flower was as large as her palm and had a calming, fresh scent.
“I think these would dry really nicely.”
“I want to turn them into potpourri and put them by my pillow.”
Yes, this was it. This was the kind of wandering journey that they had wanted!
Maki and Chiharu would not be able to follow the others into the dungeon tomorrow. They didn’t know how the monsters would respond. They would help feed the soldiers who stayed while the others went in. And then spend the rest of the time in the health resort.
They could walk leisurely amongst the tall lavenders with friends. They could take sandwiches with them and eat them in the fields for lunch. Perhaps there would be potpourri classes they could take. Also…lavender ice cream.
After thinking of all this, Maki scowled. She had remembered eating lavender ice cream a long time ago, and how it had tasted rather bad.
There were three types of ice cream that Maki had not enjoyed in her life. The first was bamboo ice cream, which had powdered bamboo leaves inside. It was wild and supposed to be healthy. The second was seaweed ice cream. It was a little slimy and smelled like the sea. The taste was indescribable. The third was lavender ice cream. It smelled wonderful. But did it have to be ice cream? Maki wasn’t sure.
“Oh, but the lavender ice cream tasted great!”
“Uhhh. Maybe I just don’t like ice cream with strong smells.”
On the other hand, she had eaten too many delicious types of ice cream to count. But her number one was hojicha tea ice cream. The smell of the tea and the mild bitterness was the perfect combination for her mature palette. She also enjoyed brown rice tea ice cream. Her second favorite was egg ice cream. It was like a milkshake with a strong egg flavour. Her third favorite was loquat. No, maybe it was strawberry. There were too many for her to decide.
Even if some turned out to be bad, she would always try out the local flavors.
They arrived at the health resort while she considered all of this. As there were few guests now, they said that at least half of the soldiers would be able to sleep at the inn. And as they had to sleep in tents for so long, they were very happy.
Maki and Chiharu had less work to do, but the work was still hard. They did their best and then returned to the inn.
“Maki. Chiharu. We have prepared everything for you.”
They had come to Aeris’s room after taking a bath. Edwy was smiling as he handed them some wine glasses.
“You can take off your wigs here. I don’t think your hair is even dry yet.”
Aeris said as he picked up a towel. He had become quite fond of drying their hair.
The glasses were filled with red liquid. Wine? Or not. The glass pitcher had several red flowers inside that sunk to the bottom. They looked at it quizzically, and Grudo explained.
“This is apple wine. They put fresh sage flowers into the bitter apple wine. It can only be made here during this season.”
From what they saw, the flower was large and had only one petal, like a hibiscus.
Chiharu liked jasmine tea, and enjoyed lavender ice cream, unlike Maki. Maki looked at her cup suspiciously. Chiharu grinned happily. And then they both took a sip.”
“This is good…”
“This is good…”
Was it from the flowers? There was a slight sourness that was quite different from apple that spread through their mouths. A mild bitterness followed. And the scent of the sage went up through their noses.
“It is very popular with ladies.”
Grudo said with a smile.
“Though, I do prefer ordinary apple wine myself.”
Kaider put in. While everyone had preferences, drink was drink. Now, for tomorrow, they would drink a few cups.
And so, in this land that was far away from the castle, they enjoyed their drink until late into the night.